Palestinians wary of Israeli intent towards Fatah-Hamas reconciliation

Fahoum argued that by guaranteeing the rights of the Palestinian people, Israel would be serving its own purposes.

Signs of change. Palestinian Ambassador to Tunisia Hael al-Fahoum. (The Arab Weekly)


2017/10/22 Issue: 128 Page: 13


The Arab Weekly
Emna Jobrane



Tunis - The Palestinian people inside the occupied territo­ries or in the diaspora would “punish” the party that brought about a failure of the recent reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah, warned Palestinian Ambassador to Tunisia Hael al-Fahoum.

Fahoum expressed optimism that, despite the failure of previous mediation efforts, the latest rapprochement bid hosted by Cairo would prove successful.

“There are some obstacles in the path of national unity but they can be overcome,” Fahoum said in an interview with The Arab Weekly. “Obstacles are to be expected but solutions must be found.”

Hamas and Fatah representa­tives signed an agreement by which Hamas would hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the Rafah crossing with Egypt, to the Palestinian Author­ity by December 1.

The Palestinian factions formed committees to sort out unresolved issues between Fatah and Hamas, most notably security control in Gaza. Fatah and Hamas, as well as other factions, will seek to form a unity government.

The recent Cairo talks indicated that Palestinian leaders were showing more commitment to the interests of their homeland, Fahoum said. “Being loud will not lead to finding solutions. If we want to serve our country, we need to think calmly and with an open mind,” he said.

Both sides, Fahoum stressed, needed to assess their capacities, especially considering the political climate in the region. “How can we develop a strategy if we do not know our own capabili­ties? How can we put realities on the ground if we do not read our regional environment?” he asked.

Fahoum said the unity agree­ment would deny Israel using Palestinian disunity as an excuse for not being committed to peace. “Israel will try to sabotage the Palestinian unity process,” he warned.

The United Nations, the Arab League and some Western countries welcomed the recon­ciliation plan. Israel, however, issued a statement saying: “The government of Israel will not carry out political negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas.”

Israeli officials demanded that Hamas agree to several condi­tions, including recognising Israel and agreeing to disarm.

Fahoum argued that by guaran­teeing the rights of the Palestin­ian people, Israel would be serving its own purposes because “Palestine is the only guarantor of stability and security.”

Fahoum noted that Hamas, like Fatah, was a part of the Palestin­ian people and foreign attempts to divide the Palestinians must be rejected.

“Hamas, with the other Palestinian factions, must serve Palestine and the interests of the Palestinians,” he said. He stressed that differences between the factions must not be at the expense of the territory.

Fahoum praised the role of Egypt in brokering Palestinian unity. “Egypt is a major player in the region and it has a national interest in Palestinian reconcilia­tion,” he said. “It played a positive role in creating the right conditions and ground for the success of this reconciliation.”

He expressed hope that Egypt would continue its mediation role and reject Israeli pressure to thwart Palestinian reconciliation. Fahoum said there was interna­tional enthusiasm for Palestinian reconciliation.

“The failure of Palestinian reconciliation will have negative consequences,” he said, as it would further divide people in the region. “There is an Arab and an international consensus that you cannot have stability in the region without the establishment of a Palestinian state.”


Emna Jibran is a Tunisian journalist.


As Printed
MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved